I really consider a healthy lifestyle a form of self love. Of course, it took me a while to change my thinking- since I equated sugar, fat, and bread with self love. This was probably due to the fact that growing up, that’s what my family ate on Sundays and special occasions. But once I started to understand that while my mind perceived these foods as “loving foods,” my body was suffering. This contradiction created discord between my mind and body. Having my body, mind, and spirit in alignment with my actions is a priority in my life and so I had to really work on listening to my body for what it really perceived as loving foods which was really healthier foods. Now days, my comfort foods have drastically changed and I have the same loving feelings when I eat them because my perception about what comfort food really is has changed.
With that being said, now we are heading into the holidays and it seems to be the popular time to let ourselves go. All the work we’ve been doing throughout the year goes out the window so that we can all feel guilty January 1 and make resolutions to be better human beings. I’m happy to say that I have been off of that whole”indulge à guilt à change à indulge” cycle for quite some time. And again, I have to attribute it to the fact that what feels good to me may not for many people and vice versa. It doesn’t feel good and loving to gorge myself with too much food. It doesn’t feel good and loving to smear my plate with sugary treats. It doesn’t feel good and loving to drink alcohol, skip out on sleep, or to stop working out.
But what does feel good to me is continuing my path of self love and care. There is never a good reason to stop loving yourself. The holidays just aren’t a good enough reason- so don’t use them anymore. If you are more committed to feeling good and filled with love, energy, and happiness, it might be easier for you to make decisions in the moment based on that commitment.
So it’s not about shame, it’s not about missing out or being sad about what you can’t have. Hell, I’ll probably enjoy a piece of pumpkin pie myself. But I know that I’ll stop eating when it doesn’t feel like I’m not loving or appreciating myself anymore. I know I’ll push the plate away when it doesn’t support my commitment to care for myself.
I think that a lot of our habits and cycles can change when we learn how to love ourselves enough. There are still things in my life that come up and I have to check myself and say, “oh, here’s an area where I’m not showing myself love.” Or, “oops, this hurt/pain/craving is coming up because I need self care.” But one thing I know is that if I can do this, you can too. This season, be committed to your self love and care. Don’t use the holidays as an excuse to abuse your body. You’ll notice that as you enter the New Year with less guilt and more energy, you’ll be ahead of those who overindulged. You’ll notice a difference as you continue on your spiritual path with one less road block to deal with. That will lead you to a healthy sense of self trust, pride and appreciation. And no pie will ever feel as good as that!